Christine Clark’s metal-and-concrete sculptures are indescribably intriguing: Their materials are both solid and soft; the curved shapes seem somewhat familiar yet are unrecognizable; a small blip of color catches your eye. And that’s exactly what the Portland sculptor intended.
Yeah, you could buy your sweetheart a store-bought card with a poem printed on it, but think how much more permanent a sentiment could feel if it were hammered onto a piece of art furniture. Kate Grenier’s Te Amo Square (right), a handmade aluminum table with a hand-hammered stanza from poet Pablo Neruda’s “Love Sonnett XVII,” does just that. “Some people buy my tables for wedding or anniversary gifts because they’re romantic and unique,” says the Portland artist.
After metal artist Gilles Neuray worked with resin for the first time, it became a fundamental element in his work. “Five years ago, I was making a fish and I needed something for its eyes, so I made them out of resin,” says Neuray. “I was so happy with the way the material catches the light that I began to use resin more and more.”
Look closely at Mel Stiles’ jewelry and you’ll see the traces of the architect she once was. “A lot of my designs are more contemporary, more modern and use bold color combinations,” she says. “I’m very interested in composition and form and the function of the material, which I think comes from working as an architect.”
Stiles, a Pennsylvania native, received a degree in architecture from Pennsylvania State University in 1996 and moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where she discovered jewelry-making. “I took my first class in silversmithing in 1998 and started making jewelry at home,” she says.